Big biting black flies when we're in our pool!

beanwabrJuly 8, 2012

We have a 24' above ground pool, lots of woods around our property. We have lots of dead wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc floating on the water when we first come out, and I'm ok with that. But every single time we have to deal with this pesky (horse fly?) that torments us, occasionally biting someone. Got me last week near my mouth; about a year ago, it got my hubby on his face and he became frighteningly swollen...this year it was on his right hand, which got real puffy for 3-4 days. My kids have been lucky so far.

We've been unable to find any sort of nest to treat with Black Flag, but this has got to stop! Swimming should be fun, not annyoing. How do I handle this - citronella candles? Light some tiki torches? Put up fly tape? Please help with any other suggestions. Thanks!

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Tiki torchs around the pool are about the best I found. I also, though, have a bug zapper but that is for mosquitoes.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 3:07PM
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We didn't have a pool at our old house, but we had a small pond and anytime we would BBQ or try to eat outside the flies were out of control - disgusting, crawling and biting us. We bought a Rescue! Disposable fly trap at Lowes and it worked MAGIC. This is a plastic baggie filled with some horrifically stinky powder with a yellow plastic hanger piece on it. You cut the plastic bag where it shows, add water to it and hang it (we used zip ties or florist wire) far enough away OUTSIDE that you don't smell it. It attracts every fly in the neighborhood.

For example, we put ours on the far back of our yard (our property T'd into the neighbor's, so our far backyard on our right was his far front on his right, and trying to be neighborly we didn't want to hang it close to his doors/windows). Anyway, it worked fantastic, we would top the water off if it evaporated before the plastic was filled with fly corpses. When it's full, I'd wear one plastic grocery sack like a glove and disconnect it and throw it in another grocery sack, then double bag it in my "glove" and tie it off and throw away on trash day. Don't throw it out before trash day because it can leak or attract more flies to your garbage can.

The yellow-jacket version of this trap doesn't work well at all, IMHO, but I couldn't have been more pleased with the fly trap. Look for it on Lowe's website and read the reviews.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 5:19PM
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I could not agree more.
These fly traps are incredible, put them at the far end of the yard. I have easily 1000 or more dead flies in mine right now, hung it up in June.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:40PM
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It is morbidly fascinating to see how they fill up with dead flies. I swear, it is literally a plastic bag full of dead flies - I'd never seen anything like it. And then all their creepy fly brethren come too, feasting on their ancestors corpses. Ugh! If you still have flies buzzing you, you don't have enough traps, so try hanging an additional one.

I warn you, the smell is incredibly gross when you pour the water in and before you get it hung. It is not overstating it to say it's like vomit crossed with garbage crossed with rotting chickens that died of intestinal distress. If you have a weak stomach, ask your spouse to hang it for you. I think the smell eventually lessens, and the little fly beasties think it's a feast!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 8:32PM
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I had never heard of the Rescue fly trap before; I went to Lowes this morning and purchased one but have yet to get it set out and I have a few questions. How close to the pool should I put it, where should I hang it (would in a tree, away from sunlight be best), does weather conditions matter? We've had 100+ degree days the last week or so but it's forecast for low 90s and storms the next several days.

For what it's worth, we got a few small citronella candles and a strip of fly tape (placed under our deck) and still may even get some tiki torches. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Ours was hanging mostly in the sun all day, on a chainlink fence about four feet off the ground, all last summer (the hottest on record, with many, many days over 100 here in Oklahoma!) It works rain or shine, just don't put it where you will want to be (like next to your bbq) because the smell will make you crazy. It works rain or shine, so weather doesn't matter.

The most important thing is to hang it downwind of you! I wouldn't hang it too high, just somewhere convenient to get to to remove/refresh it. 4 ft was perfect for me. Our backyard was a 60 x 40 ft rectangle (2400 sf), and it was as far away from me as I could get it and still worked great. If you hang it too close and can smell it, just move it further away until you find the sweet spot of "close enough to work, far enough that you can't smell it." Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:49AM
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We're having the same issues here in SE Wisconsin. Anytime I'm in the pool or in the garden the horse flies are attacking like crazy. These are whopper flies that sting you pretty good. I swell from these as well and have always used baking soda and water to form a paste and put it on the sting right away. Since I was a kid the reaction has been the same. Don't have any suggestions as to how to get rid of them. We've been trying to figure out if they are attracted to certain colors but that doesn't seem to be working. May have to give the Lowes thing a try but we're on 2.25 acres, just don't know how effective it's goin to be.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Well I can tell you these smell like a horse poop and vomit shake. SO the flies will be all over it, you will see. Just put 3 or so 50 feet our from your pool in a semi circle, flies will stay there, even the horse flies.

Trust us, best $15 bucks you can spend on a summer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:20PM
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